House debates

Monday, 22 October 2018

Statements by Members

Dobell Electorate: Toukley Preschool Kindergarten

4:35 pm

Photo of Emma McBrideEmma McBride (Dobell, Australian Labor Party) Share this | Hansard source

On Saturday I was privileged to join the celebrations for Toukley Preschool Kindergarten's 50th anniversary with my nephew John. Now John's at big school, he was delighted to visit his old preschool again. The preschool began with the vision of Pat Chambers, the first director, and her good friends Neisha Farrell, Faye Northey and Florence Shergold, who, walking down the main street of Toukley in 1961, said, 'This place needs a kindergarten.' Sadly, Pat died in September. She would have loved to have joined the occasion.

Today, the preschool enrols children aged three to five years and has two rooms, the wombat room and the koala room, each with twenty children. The director, Dianne Rayner, describes the program as the evolving of learning: the first time that a parent or carer entrusts their child to someone else's care, and so begins their evolution of learning in all areas of social, emotional, physical, cognitive and mental health. The director strongly supports a two-year preschool/kindy program. She said to me:

At this early age children's brains absorb so much, therefore children given the opportunity for an early childhood education during this period will commence primary school more confident and resilient.

I would like to congratulate the many committee and staff members of Toukley Preschool Kindergarten who have contributed to 50 years of quality early childhood education, and acknowledge the preschool's status as an exceeding centre. I would particularly like to acknowledge Aunty Bronwyn Chambers, Pat's daughter-in-law who welcomed us to country, for sharing her fond memories and for her strong role in education on the Central Coast. Congratulations, Toukley Preschool Kindergarten.


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